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12:31 AM
0
Q: What if all "solve my puzzle and that's it" questions got banned

David MulderI know my proposal is extreme! Please read it as objectively as you can and imagine the community that would be created instead of dismissing it purely for being extreme. Additionally I wrote the post in a bit of a roundabout way exactly for this reason, if it's too long to read, just jump to the...

 
1:16 AM
Hmm I feel like posting a puzzle-creation question and seeing how it goes with the community...
 
1:37 AM
Done. Now to see what happens :)
 
2
Q: Can up votes be used to improve quality too?

MewIt is well known that downvotes can be used to improve overall site quality, by discouraging low quality questions and answers and users who post them. But upvotes can also be used to improve quality, by upvoting questions you think to be of high quality, which both sets an example of a high qua...

 
 
3 hours later…
4:14 AM
@Emrakul any more thoughts on whether you're going to revive the puzzle-a-week?
 
user61230
@xnor It's definitely possible for it to be revived, if we get the resources to run it. Iunno, if you're interested, I'd post a response on the Meta question with your thoughts and/or with a community wiki list of volunteers to run puzzles.
 
honestly, that sounds like more organization that i'm personally interested in doing
if you'd do it, i'd contribute a puzzle of two
otherwise, I'll just post a puzzle i'm thinking of using as a question now
 
user61230
Ultimately, it'd have to be a community-driven thing, which is why it'd need community interest to take off.
 
user61230
I was thinking it could be a home to the types of puzzles that don't really fit the Q&A format; things like situation riddles and such.
 
i see, that makes sense
there's lots of interactive puzzles and puzzles that are fun to collaborate on in real time
 
user61230
4:19 AM
But who knows where it'll go!
 
user61230
Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
 
sorry, but i'm not optimistic enough on the general situation to invest in something so long-term and community-based
i think i'll just post something and point to a chat room to discuss
 
user61230
That's okay, but just bear in mind that a question has to stand alone on its own, y'know?
 
what do you mean here?
it's just a standalone puzzle
oh, the chat channel idea is to try to get solvers to collaborate
it's not part of the puzzle
 
user61230
(If you ever feel so compelled, then you're welcome to post an answer here asking for community interest.)
 
4:21 AM
i think that would give more of an "official" sense than is justified
thanks, but i think i'll just try to drum up interest from the puzzle page and in chat
 
user61230
Sure, makes sense.
 
is there a way to post a pdf file?
 
user61230
Nnnnot really... questions are generally supposed to be self-contained. Looking to grab an image out of a PDF, or just post the entire PDF?
 
the whole pdf, ideally
i wrote the puzzle as a pdf document
 
user61230
Ah, hm. I mean, the best solution is to convert it to Markdown... is that feasible?
 
4:27 AM
i guess I could, but it would lose formatting
can i make it a big picture?
 
Oh here you are
 
user61230
...I mean, it's... within possibility? I wouldn't recommend it, though.
 
(Puzzle a week eh...)
 
0
Q: Split: A puzzle-hunt style word puzzle

xnorThe answer is a six-letter word. You're strongly encouraged to discuss and collaborate on the puzzle in this chat room. I've had this puzzle playtested before, but I still welcome feedback and suggestions. 1) Diamond, to carbon 2) Deflated (#7) 3) That in “this or that” (#9) 4) Eureka pro...

if you're interested in solving this, you'll also probably be interested in collaborating in: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/18790/…
(it's being worked on right now)
 
 
5 hours later…
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9:40 AM
@Gilles Hi Gilles. I'm not suggesting that they are trolling because they disagree with me - people do that all the time. I'm pretty much used to it. :) Also there is - there should be - a place for constructive criticism. I'm suggesting that he/she is trolling because of his/her deep commitment to unconstructive criticism of a community in which he/she has no interest in participating. (Also as AJ points out, the whole "putting words in my mouth" bit).
 
10:02 AM
1
Q: New Users Posting Bad Questions!

warspykingIn the past 24 hours 4 new users joined and posted a terrible first question. One of them even received an upvote. Since they are new users, downvotes do nothing to their rep. Their rep stays at 1, so new users can come in with terrible quality questions, even plagiarized, and all we can do is d...

 
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10:29 AM
@xnor I'm liking the collaborative aspect!
 
Is this the place on Chat for discussing quality of questions and answers, whether certain kinds should be banned, etc. that's generated so much activity on meta?
 
10:56 AM
@randal'thor Yes.
 
 
1 hour later…
12:20 PM
So who's on which side...?
 
@randal'thor: sides?
 
@DavidMulder - There's a sort of ongoing war between people like Gilles and the mods who want to change the style of puzzling.SE (ban super-wacko answers to lateral-thinking questions, ban answers which are almost all spoilertagged, ban questions with multiple possible answers, etc.) and people like Mew, d'alar'cop, and me who just want to have fun posing and answering interesting puzzles. Welcome to the fray!
I have a question for @Gilles, the moderators, etc.
 
@randal'thor well, seems I have clearly taken sides already then :P Oops :P
 
12:35 PM
If many of the most popular and upvoted questions and answers are of a style you don't approve of (open-ended riddles, off-the-cards answers, etc.), WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? The users of this site clearly like these kinds of questions and answers, as they show by upvoting them. Is Stackexchange supposed to be a democracy or a moderatorocracy?
 
@randal'thor Well, if SE is anything it's a dictatorship where the masses are allowed to influence the rules ;-)
 
If people post complete spam, it gets downvoted into oblivion. But there are some really nice puzzles out there (like most of the riddles and spaghetti parties, and indeed many of the most popular questions on the site) that have one or two 'votes to close' on them. Why do you do this? We, the puzzling.SE users, enjoy ourselves by posing and answering these questions. What gives you the right to spoil the fun?
@DavidMulder - so which side are you on? :-) I haven't followed all the discussion here.
 
And as to your actual question, the problem is the same as with actual democracy, the masses care only for the short term consequences of their actions, the moderators and the 'gods of SE' care for the long term prospects.
 
@DavidMulder - OK, that makes it quite clear which side you're on.
 
Didn't you see my proposal on meta? Pretty sure I talked with you in the comments :)
 
12:39 PM
I don't remember ... could you give me a link?
 
8
Q: What if all "solve my puzzle and that's it" questions got banned

David MulderI know my proposal is extreme! Please read it as objectively as you can and imagine the community that would be created instead of dismissing it purely for being extreme. Additionally I wrote the post in a bit of a roundabout way exactly for this reason, if it's too long to read, just jump to the...

But mind you, I don't really care about sides or anything, all I care about is that 1) puzzling.SE doesn't really fit in the bigger image of SE (and is giving it a bit of a bad image which will influence the behaviour of users across the network) 2) I personally would love seeing more questions like the one sp3000 posted (See the comments)
I mean, for just random puzzle solving there already is Yahoo answers, so I don't really understand why we would need another site for that? Let's carve out an expert community on SE is what I am hoping for~
(wow, that sentence didn't work out, but pretty sure you get what I mean :) )
 
Well, the changes to answer type you suggest in that question would certainly be an improvement! But I wouldn't agree with banning any particular type of question.
Say someone posts up just a riddle. Anyone who gives just an answer without explanation isn't going to get many votes anyway. The usual thing is to give an answer with explanation of how it fits all the lines of the riddle, which is great because it shows everyone how riddle-solving actually works and can also give people ideas for how to compose their own riddles. If someone were to give not only an explained answer, but several possible answers and suggested improvements to the question...
...I'm sure they'd get loads of upvotes. (I split this message as it was too long for one.)
The SE community aren't stupid, you know! :-)
@AE - hi!
 
A E
@randal'thor IMO "war" is overstating it. Let's not have one of those. Mostly we're talking about people who are members of the community and are offering sensible and constructive critique in a genuine effort to improve it. That's good with me.
 
@randal'thor Problem is that getting those questions is only achievable by setting a standard. It's a pity you aren't really active on any of the other 'mature' SE's, because I could give you better examples there, but each and every site has to define what they consider on topic and off topic, and yes, that's something that has to be enforced. Either way, one of the real problems with the current state of puzzling.SE is that upvoting and downvoting has become a popularity contest rather
than something that is about reputation or expertise as it should be according to the SE philosophy.
 
A E
waves
@DavidMulder, one suggestion that we've had recently is that we could opt-out of the supercollider-thingy. IMO that would help a lot because we wouldn't get so many drive-by upvotes.
 
12:49 PM
@AE - I thought you were on the fun side, but got confused after seeing your comment on the question David Mulder linked to. Which side are you really on? Or somewhere in between? :-)
 
Btw, I am not even so sure you're categorizing the sides correctly, after all, within my proposal (which seems to get a lot of support) all sorts of puzzles would be on topic, the thing would however be how one would ask about them.
 
A E
@randal'thor I don't really see a need for sides. I'm on the "peaceful co-existence" side. I do like the fun puzzles but I also do see that there has been a quality problem (as I think you do too). ;)
 
@DavidMulder - I might not have many points on the 'mature' SEs (!!), but I know SciFi and Maths fairly well as one of the 'silent majority'. One thing I really like about this SE is that it's not so mod-dominated and it's more about people having fun, and you can get lots of rep (I've earned 900 in less than a week) just by coming up with good questions and answers, without having to crawl to the mods.
@AE - fair enough! :-) I think I've seen you being somewhat critical of a certain 'slightly hidden punctuation symbol' though?
 
A E
@DavidMulder One problem that we're experiencing is that people in the wider SE community have a view about how things must be on SE that isn't necessarily true. E.g. that titles must be in a specific format, or that they must include this or not be like that. It seems to be (for some visitors, not for you) about forcing puzzling.SE to conform. An authoritarian approach. Then we've got wiser members of the wider SE community saying, "hang on a minute, actually it is ok for individual ...
... sites to vary the SE formula".
 
@AE - Yes! Completely agree.
 
12:55 PM
@randal'thor: SciFi I know a bit, Maths... not so much, but from all the different communities I have seen I have only seen one that was mod dominated (which admittedly was a terrible experience). Either way, what I think you mean isn't so much mod dominated as it is rule dominated, the difference being that one is enforced by moderators and the others by a combination of moderators and community.
 
A E
@randal'thor that's true. I don't have much time for people who are not interested in participating in the community or providing constructive criticism but are only interested in running it down.
But if he/she wants to join the community, solve some puzzles, and come up with some helpful ideas to improve quality then I'll be all ears.
must go, should be working!
 
@AE: I totally agree that just complaining does nobody any good, but the thing to realize is that SE as a whole has a lot of experience how to handle problems and they don't do things 'their' way without a reason.
So individual deviation from the norm should only be done if there is a good reason for it, which sometimes can definitely be the case. It however shouldn't be done "just because".
So I do technically agree with you, but it's just a bit of a non-statement I fear.
 
@AE - agreed about TVQM. I should be working too - this site is fun but wastes a lot of time! :-p
 
@AE It was restrictive, but I just came up with something stupid for you
 
Hi @d'alar'cop! Join the fray :-)
 
1:09 PM
hi rand :)
I was just reading everything :p
well we have Gilles with us :O
@Mew your tongue-in-cheek meta question was hilarious
 
In my experience of other SEs, there's usually too much concentration on what's 'right', sometimes at the expense of actually doing what the site is supposed to be for. Some people are very trigger-happy with the 'vote to close' button! In the time they spend telling someone off for asking the 'wrong kind of question', they could have answered the question instead.
Not to sound too much like @d'alar'cop, but I'm going to stay at puzzling.SE just until the mods, Gilles, and TVQM win and all the fun questions and answers get banned, and no longer!
 
To be fair I'm not sure that Gilles is really against the fun stuff..
actually, I'm just going to confess... I don't really have a clear idea at all about what the problem is at the moment..
does anyone have a clear "problem statement"?
@randal'thor Yes rand, if say, riddles in general are banned I've got nothing to do here :p
everything else is algorithmic and could probably fit somewhere else
 
@d'alar'cop - Nip over to meta and look at the hot questions there, and you'll find lots of 'problem statements'. Try this one: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/1465/…
 
I have an answer on that one :p
 
@d'alar'cop - Of course, you know that one! I'd forgotten your really good answer :-) Anyway, there's loads of links to other questions on the same sort of topic.
 
1:20 PM
so it seems that a scope was never agreed upon in the first place
OK, well I've only ever really known the site as a "challenge" site... so I personally haven't seen any shift (I'm relatively new)
 
Some people have REAL PROBLEMS with off-the-wall answers to lateral-thinking questions. But look at some of the answers here: puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/4304/… Do we really want to ban such fun? (Incidentally, that question only needs one more vote to be reopened - any volunteers?)
 
to summarise, the problem is, are Askers posting challenges on-topic... and if so, how do we define it?
personally I can agree with closing the types of riddles where there actually are many legitimate possible solutions...
I describe these as being like the "playground" puzzle... the kind of question children ask each other as tricks...
Hi @Gilles , may you please share what you want to see happen here?
 
1:54 PM
Well, I've left my 2p worth for this debate. I'm off!
 
bye @randal'thor
:)
 
 
2 hours later…
3:56 PM
0
Q: Law/Ethics question in regards to content distribution

Travis KindredI've been wanting to start up a youtube channel for a while and my recent fun writing riddles for this site has been awesome. If I make a youtube channel featuring the riddles I write here and put a link to the puzzling version in the description, would it in any way be a problem? Would it help t...

 
 
1 hour later…
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5:25 PM
@DavidMulder :) lol. SE is a real newcomer as far as I'm concerned. I've been participating in digital communities of various kinds since about 1993. First BBSs with my 9.6k modem, later Usenet (back when Usenet was usable), websites more recently of course. I'm a moderator in Another Place (not on the SE network). So I've got a fair amount of experience myself in the development of online communities and the stages they go through. I'm certain that SE does have plenty of good practise that we...
... should adopt, but I'm not very open to people from other parts of the SE network coming and telling us that we must do things the way that the rest of the SE network does them merely because we must conform and for no better reason than that. But I don't think that's what your more thinking & experienced SE user believes. E.g. JM has pointed out that sites across the SE network do differ in various ways.
Possibly I mean "good practice".
Anyway, it's not just us. Loving this title: codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/41638/418-im-a-teapot
 
PPCG has some obscure titles, to be sure. However, Puzzling seems a bit worse off in that regard at the moment. It's not that there are obscure titles IMO, but that so many are so similar. There's no "teapot #4" or "teapot #5" on PPCG, for example.
 
@AE Stating that SE is new is true, but you are forgetting the part where SE has been far more successful at creating expert communities than anything before it. If you want something like the BBS of old, then go to yahoo answers or reddit. There definitely is a place for that on the internet.
@AE PPCG.SE is already the odd one out, but every change from the norm they made they have rationalized and been able to clearly define in rules. Have you seen how strict they are when you wish to post a challenge?
 
5:40 PM
Yep, we close stuff down quick over there :D
I won't say there haven't been conflicts over what should be closed/reopened, but that's just part of it all.
 
@randal'thor You should check out some of the old posts from SO (the SE precursor), there were a lot of random fun posts then (for example the famous regex html parsing one). A lot of them have been deleted and some have been 'protected' for historical reasons. Why? Because SO and next SE as a whole has shaped around expert communities. And yes, that's a bit of a mentality shift away from "anything goes" you find on most of the internet.
 
A E
If we can shortcut the how-are-we-going-to-do-it process by copying some successful ideas and ways of doing things from PPCG then that would sound good to me.
 
One success we've had is The Sandbox, but I'm not sure how well that would play out here, since a good critique would basically require knowing the answer.
 
hi @Geobits
 
5:47 PM
ello random user
 
@AE Well, problem is that 'code' is different from 'everything'. With PPCG you clearly define what somebody should do and they do it. Here everything is about being unclear (puzzles after all) and letting the user figuring out what they should do.
It really isn't as similar as it may first appear actually~
 
@DavidMulder well there are optimization challenges
where the output is not code
but rather a problem the code solves
is that suitable here?
basically I have lots of questions about what is suitable for puzzling.SE
 
@user2179021 Still even those are very clearly defined as to what is and is not expected. I mean, comparing this to even the best puzzles on here makes no sense.
@user2179021 Right now it's mostly a free for all where everybody is posting whatever they want. We are trying however to figure out where this community should be headed to.
 
:@DavidMulder I am asking if this sort of thing is suitable for puzzling.SE
also.. there is a tag on math.SE called puzzles
are those questions suitable here?
it would be great to hear the opinion of the puzzle.SE community on these questions
 
@Geobits - Maybe we overdid it a bit with the spaghetti parties, but @AE's answer to this question on meta really says it all! What a grumpy bunch of ... oh, sorry, Gilles :-)
 
5:53 PM
@user2179021 this is what I think on the topic: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/1485/…
 
A E
Another place within the SE network where fun and creativity are allowed: http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/
we should copy from them too.
 
@AE - Another amazing SE! I love it :-)
 
A E
@Geobits - sandbox sounds interesting. It's kind of semi-private?
 
Not by design. It has a rep barrier of 5 simply because you have to have that to answer a question on meta.
 
@DavidMulder you really want to change it into a puzzle making Q&A site? I fear you will lose almost all of your users
 
A E
5:55 PM
Does ppcg do code optimization challenges?
 
@AE See my link from before on codegolf.se
 
@user2179021 - There is an overlap between math.SE and puzzling.SE, in that the former has a few puzzle questions and the latter has a few maths questions. But similarly there's an overlap between scifi.SE and worldbuilding.SE, or math.SE and mathoverflow, or probably several of the computery ones. That doesn't mean the type of content on the site should be changed!
 
@AE yes
@randal'thor I don't mind overlap!
@randal'thor the point is simply whether puzzling.SE is happy to see the types of questions that get the puzzle tag on math.SE
 
@AE Still, there is a clear question with a clear set of boundaries for answers and the answers require expert knowledge of various topics to be written.
 
A E
@DavidMulder yes, that's what I mean. :) They seem to attract a good standard of answers (in exactly the way you say) while still valuing creativity and fun.
 
5:57 PM
@user2179021 You will definitely lose a lot of users, that's what I wrote in the proposal as well. But you will foster an expert community. I mean, the same happened with programmer.SE, it was first all about fun and chaos, then they realized that that couldn't hold, so twice they refocused their entire site before it became the success it is now.
 
@DavidMulder so PPCG has a particular feature which is that anyone with an itch to scratch can ask teh question and find volunteers to spend time on it
@DavidMulder this is unlike stackoverflow for example that closes those types of questions
@DavidMulder so I agree there are options. And one option is to make puzzling.stackexchange a place where people with puzzling itches to scratch, either as solver or posers can go
 
@randal'thor I'm not just talking about the spaghetti parties, to be honest. Yes, they're the extreme example right now, but there are a lot of questions with completely obscure titles like "What am I (part 6)?" or "Guess the object (part 4)". I can't tell one from another at all, so I don't even know when a new one shows up.
 
@Geobits - True. This is definitely something that could be improved. I try to make all my riddles distinguishable and memorable from the titles.
 
A E
I think we're all learning as we go along here.
 
@user2179021 Ehm, posting challenges on PPCG.SE is not the same as "having an itch to scratch". It's something that takes time and planning... and some more...
 
6:00 PM
@DavidMulder Tell that to some of the users there, I've been trying to ;)
I think he meant the sandbox, though.
 
Puzzling.SE is becoming MORE POPULAR because of the kinds of question that the mods etc. want to abolish. That's a fact that's hard to get around.
Some of our top users (hello @d'alar'cop) are going to leave if the mods etc. get their way.
As I said earlier, are we a democracy or a modocracy?
 
@DavidMulder well yes and no :)
 
@randal'thor Yet the most popular questions got closed on a lot of SE communities. Why? Because as I said before, it's all about the long term prospects, not the short term prospects.
 
True, but we had the same issue with [code-trolling] on PPCG (incredibly popuar, low quality). We nuked it after much discussion, and IMO the quality has been much better since, and we haven't lost much.
 
@DavidMulder I ask quite a lot of questions. So I know the process :)
@DavidMulder completely pointless.. it was just something fun I invented
 
6:03 PM
@user2179021 Yeah, already saw that question. Surprised it even survived... it's IMHO the kind of question that is an example of the system failing where a popularity is ranked instead of expertise.
Which sadly does happen, though mostly the system is working.
 
@DavidMulder Stefan's answer involves a huge amount of skill
 
And at least the answers still required expertise :)
 
What do people feel are the long-term negative ramifications of e.g. questions that are just riddles, or off-the-wall answers to lateral-thinking questions?
 
@user2179021 Yep agree, just think the questoin itself doesn't deserve the upvotes.
 
And btw, what is PPCG.SE? I see it mentioned a lot.
 
6:04 PM
@DavidMulder I don't think it is a bad example at all.. And I should say the most popular questions are almost always aptypical
 
@randal'thor codegolf.SE
@user2179021 Which is why a lot of those have gotten closed through the years
 
@DavidMulder I think that is a mistake. Look at mathoverflow.net/questions/186708/… for example
@DavidMulder this is in no way a typical mathoverflow question.. but it shouldn't be closed
a good SE sites has a mix of serious and popular(ist)
 
@randal'thor One long-term negative effect is rewarding the "wrong" answers. If I take the time and figure out the intended solution, it would be mighty discouraging to see another joke answer rewarded more.
For instance, my joke answer on Secret Admirer should absolutely not have gotten as many votes as it did IMO.
 
@randal'thor As I have been saying before, it determines the kind of community you foster. Right now we have a mix of experts and y! answer level users. Long term, the more space you leave for Y! answer like puzzling, the more the experts will be leaving as there is no value in being here. Take for example this answer. It required more expertise than the large majority of answers here and yet so far it has only gotten 6 upvotes and it's probably not going to get a lot more naturally:
13
Q: Generating ice-sliding puzzles which spell out words

Sp3000Let's say I have a puzzle like this: The idea is that since you're on ice, once you start moving you can't stop until you hit a rock. If you treat the red/blue patches as paint that leaves trails when you move, then trying to collect all the coins in the fewest number of moves spells out a wor...

 
@DavidMulder ok here is another one of my questions... feel free to criticize codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/26459/…
but you see it was just an itch I wanted to scratfch
 
6:07 PM
I gained the power to close-vote with a joke answer.
 
and people worked hard on it
and everyone was happy :)
all I am saying is, I think the main problem with puzzling.SE is that you don't enough people who think, "If I have a really interesting puzzle I can't solve, I know what, I'll ask on puzzling.SE"
 
Wah, too many questions to look at :) But more seriously, I am not disputing that populist answers get better votes sometimes. I once wanted to see whether the system could be gamed and now have one of the top 6 questions in the swift tag on SE
 
it's not just a question of being populist
 
so I agree, populism always happens in (semi-)democratic systems
 
it's the motivation of the users
I ask questions on ppcg because I believe smart people will look at them and they won't ask me "why the hell do you want to know that?"
 
6:10 PM
@user2179021 Absolutely true, have any proposals how to improve it? :P
 
you need the same here
@DavidMulder well..first decide is you want the types of questions they have on math.SE with the puzzle tag :)
if you
and then see if you actually have a community of people who like to answer hard and interesting questions!
you probably need 10 really active people :)
out of 7 billion on earth
 
I mean, there have been a lot of people out there complaining without suggesting possible frameworks on how to improve it. I have tried building one such framework in the proposal I mentioned before. And within that framework those questions you just mentioned would indeed not be all right.
Still though, by answering that question you didn't propose any kind of framework. Are you suggesting that in your opinion the best course for puzzling.SE is to continue the way it functions now?
 
to be 100% honest I am not sure how it functions now
no one has answered any of my questions either!
if you could questions migrated from SO or math.SE that might be a good start
 
@user2179021 As I said, right now anything goes. There is hardly anything that gets closed. 'Officially' a lot of specific categories aren't allowed, and then there are a lot of conflicting rules, etc.
 
if you have decided yuo actually want those sorts of question
well that sounds bad :)
but over closing is bad too.. english.SE (or smoethign with a similar name) closes things seemingly randomly
 
6:14 PM
Yeah, been reading up on it yesterday before I wrote that :P and don't know, english.SE has never closed anything I posted~
 
@DavidMulder - What do you mean by "y! answer level users"? Some of the questions which are just a riddle are really well written (check out Travis Kindred!), and some of the joke answers actually take a lot of work (like Geobits's 'Secret Admirer' answer). Aren't we allowed to have a sense of humour, or a sense of fun, on SE?
 
@randal'thor I like how we're both using my joke answer to make completely contradictory points :)
 
do any questions get migrated here?
from anywher?
 
(in beta@user2179021, so no)
@randal'thor Well, the level of fun standard is ridiculously high on SE sometimes... so yeah, I don't think SE is meant as a place for 'fun'. You come here to do things you enjoy, absolutely! But for example, I enjoy helping people on SO, that doesn't mean that I am 'just having fun' however. Same here, ideally I would love seeing a community where just posting puzzles in their most basic form would be allowed as well, but right now it has boiled down to just fun and humour for their own sake, not
as a consequence of doing what people like (the art of writing and solving puzzles)
 
ah.. beta
 
6:19 PM
wow, that sounds so vague, but am I coming across a bit?
Either way, I think that with just a bit more work most of the quality questions can be shaped into a form that will get better answers per my proposal, and I don't think geobits answer was all that hard to find (just bruteforce it :P )
 
@DavidMulder - Looks like some of us might be going off to set up on our own then.
 
@randal'thor Not sure what you mean now?
 
@DavidMulder - A few of us have decided to set up our own riddles website if you lot win and puzzling.SE becomes dull and lifeless.
 
@randal'thor: Ah, that would be good yeah, /r/puzzling (or puzzles) might welcome you with open arms. And otherwise y! answers is still running wild these days as well I think, though I think the atmosphere on reddit is a lot better for such a website.
 
what does y! mean?
yahoo! .. got it :)(
:)
 
6:24 PM
Though who knows, maybe there are even more sites around I don't know about, since I have started using SO first and SE a couple years back I have kind settled down :P
 
I think I will put my next math puzzle on puzzling.SE and see what happens :)
 
@DavidMulder - But anyone who contributed to the removal of fun from puzzling.SE won't be welcome at the new place :-p
 
@randal'thor you know people don't really exist, don't you?
 
@user2179021 - ???
 
@randal'thor Doesn't that include the people posting the "fun" ones, since if they weren't this wouldn't have come up? :P
 
6:25 PM
@randal'thor Wow, what hatred/dislike/emotion... anybody for just trying to find a healthy solution to the problem?
 
@randal'thor it was a joke
 
@DavidMulder - Don't take me too seriously! :-) :-) I'd love to see this all settled amicably.
 
I probably won't start with en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_sofa_problem :)
although I would love to know how to formulate this is an optimization problem
@DavidMulder let me ask you another question. Would this one be welcome here? math.stackexchange.com/questions/205953/…
 
While I welcome the stars, let's share some around, eh? ;)
 
@Geobits which stars??
 
6:28 PM
sidebar -->
 
@user2179021 Did you read my proposal ;-) I would welcome ALL puzzles, but they would have to be worded as questions about the process. So, no, in it's current form it wouldn't be welcome. However I would be all for it if you have an actual problem implementing that puzzle in a different form or understanding that solution
 
@DavidMulder ok so I disagree with you on this. I think those puzzles worded exactyl as they are should be welcome
@DavidMulder I don't mind your wish to increases quality, reduce the humour content to less than 50% and to make the rules consistent
 
@user2179021 If you can figure out a way how to allow those puzzles but disallow the random mass produced puzzles, then I am all ears though
 
although do beware that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds :)
@DavidMulder well if a problem is that the puzzle and answer are easily google'able, then that is a good criterion
which is easy to enforce
 
Foolish inconsistency is worse. Either should be well thought out.
 
6:31 PM
:)
is that the problem with the "mass produced puzzles"?
let's try to agree what is wrong with the mass produced puzzles so we can pin it down
 
@user2179021 Btw, totally offtopic, but you realize you can change your username from your profile page? And back on topic, well, the quality itself is technically the problem, and the need for objective criteria. If you think that 'searchability' on it's own would give enough of a framework then do please post this as a solution to the problem over on meta. Personally I doubt it, but if others agree then I am all fine :)
 
I don't really want to guess.. I would like someone who has a list of puzzles they don't like to find some common criteria for a large subset
 
@user2179021 - Great line! @DavidMulder - Just because lots of puzzles have similar titles and structures, that doesn't mean they're 'random' or 'mass-produced'. Sometimes they're written by many different people; every one can be excellent. Look at Travis Kindred's riddles; he's written lots in a short time, but they're all very good. Most of the spaghetti questions are actually pretty good puzzles, if you can see past the similarity between them.
 
so I need you to tell me if a problem with many of them is the google-abiity
@DavidMulder you are not as specific as I was hoping with the types of puzzles you don't like
other than "bad ones"
another lovely puzzle I would love to see here :)
81
Q: Slice of pizza with no crust

Daniel RustThe following question came up at a conference and a solution took a while to find. Puzzle. Find a way of cutting a pizza into finitely many congruent pieces such that at least one piece of pizza has no crust on it. We can make this more concrete, Let $D$ be the unit disc in the plane $...

 
@user2179021 As I said, I don't think so, and it's not the types of puzzles I don't like (the ones I personally like are a pretty small subset), it's for me all about the questions that cause simple and crazy answers. Right now if you would post the puzzle from maths.SE you would probably get a couple of 'lateral thinking' answers.
(btw, just a note, cross posting isn't allowed per SE policy, so don't post anything you find on other SE sites, just so you know)
And about questions that are all about getting reputation, or people posting questions 'just for fun'
instead of because they need help with something... what SE is mostly (not all) about
personally I would love a mix though
but the only way I can see that happen is to first start from the Q&A perspective, and then selectively allow stuff in
 
6:37 PM
I get the idea lots of people would like to see the 'lateral-thinking' tag abolished?
 
I'd be happy if people just decided to start downvoting the silly stuff :P
(and my issue with titles, that's really my main concern here)
 
@Geobits Me too, but that's the core of the problem, the nature of the community is currently a 'free for all'
I just had an idea, how would it be if puzzling.SE would look like this:
- Questions needing help making puzzles would be on topic
- Questions needing help solving puzzles would be on topic
- Questions asking about canonical puzzles would be on topic (which is directly against the norm right now). These would be puzzles in their most simplified form, so all math puzzles for example would be allowed, etc. etc. This combined with the second point could create a internet resource on how to solve puzzles in a way not ever done before.
 
@Geobits - I agree there's an issue with titles; but for some puzzles, any sort of title would be a hint! Take the spaghetti ones. They're all about spotting the pattern in a list of pairs of numbers. So unless you put the pairs of numbers in the title, it's hard to have an unspoilerish title at all! Take #31: I couldn't have put 'the Italian one' in the title, as that would've given the game away!
 
Lateral thinking is fine IMO, but if your answer is "the infinite rope causes a black hole...", then either 1) the question was badly worded or 2) you're just being silly. In neither case should the answer really be rewarded.
2
@randal'thor I know it's a hard line to walk with titles. My problem is that when I look at the front page, I have no idea what to click on to find something that interests me.
I just don't have that problem anywhere else on the network (even on PPCG with their often humorous titles).
 
@randal'thor Which for me is just another indicator that the community should change, because having descriptive titles is a necessity for a SE site...
If that means that titles should spoil solutions, then the answers shouldn't be solutions... but yeah, that sounds terribly harsh :P
 
6:47 PM
@Geobits, "when I look at the front page, I have no idea what to click on to find something that interests me" - that's what tags are for!
 
I don't agree that questions don't need descriptive titles just because tags exist, if that's what you're saying. The two go together.
 
@Geobits - I agree there's a problem with titles, just saying it's not quite as bad as you made it sound.
 
It's just my perspective as a new user here. Until I click into a question, I really have no idea what it contains. A single [riddle] or [brainteaser] tag attached to it doesn't change that.
I'm not saying all the questions are like that, just that there's a much bigger share here than I see anywhere else.
 
7:08 PM
@DavidMulder I like your three bullet points
@DavidMulder but can you expand what you mean by canonical puzzles?
 
2
Q: Should we aggressively delete answers without explanations?

EmrakulBecause of the support the though received here, I'm creating a new proposal about deleting poor-quality answers. In order to increase the quality of answers on Puzzling.SE, I'd like to propose that we start deleting answers that contain absolutely no explanation whatsoever. While normally I'd s...

 
ok I am submitting a question
I have n idea what tags to use!
could someone take a look at puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/5179/… and tell me what tags I should use?
and also if I need to improve the question of course
 
7:46 PM
anyone still here?
got my first controversial comment on my question :)
@DavidMulder still here?
the list of tags doesn't seem the best
hmm.. puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/5190/… was downvoted? Any ideas why?
 
8:16 PM
ok so I am learning a lot from the answers to my two questions :)
when someone is back.. we can talk
 
 
1 hour later…
9:20 PM
@user2179021 With canonical puzzles I was thinking of puzzles in their simplest form and which should pass some notability test. In other words, by definition these puzzles would be unoriginal. This would be useful as both an internal resource to refer to, and a generic resource for information (just like SO is for programming)
 
oh I see
well we want to allow original puzzles too
@DavidMulder I have no posted two questions and can already see some problems with puzzling.SE
first, people post comments as answers!
this should be strongly discouraged by those with high rep
 
@user2179021 Yeah, but those would have to be about either helping with the process of making them, or help with the process of reviewing them
 
right so I dno't agree with that
people should be allowed to post original puzzles
the problem is the site is not well curated
answers that are comments should be moved
and really poor answers should ultimately be deleted after asking the author
and questions should be edited to be improved
 
@user2179021 Yeah, so that's what the entire discussion is about :) Because site curation is a direct consequence of the sites atmosphere, nature, etc. So poor curation is a consequence of allowing poor questions (and answers), not the actual problem.
 
9:42 PM
This question is kind of relevant to this chatroom.
Not just in the obvious way! It demonstrates how questions that are just riddles can lead to good answers that improve the quality of the site, and how the question itself can then be improved as a reflection of the good answer.
Metadiscussion or what? :-p
 
9:57 PM
@randal'thor Actually, you guys changed the style in October, and I want the old site back
it's full of crap now
I'm not reading this whole chat transcript, I don't have time. I can't even keep up with meta at the moment.
 
@Gilles - d'alar'cop was looking for you in here earlier.
 
@randal'thor yeah, I got the ping but no time to chat
@d'alar'cop see my meta posts (I'm a few days behind but I've already written quite a few)
 
Hello everybody
 
Hi @avigrail! Now we can discuss the Big Riddle Issue here, and specific riddles in the other room...
 
I was thinking about the frequency of posts
I always work on my riddles for about one hour. After this I wait about 2 days before I post them.
 
10:09 PM
So you want some kind of rule like 'at most n questions per user per day'?
But other SEs seem to cope without such a rule...
 
Or limit the number of open questions
 
Ouch! So at some point nobody can post a new question until some of the old ones get answered?
 
Not questions but riddles. We could kinda distinguish between the two
 
Or set up riddling.SE as a new site.
uh-oh, here comes a mod
 
@randal'thor There is a question rate limit, it decreases with rep (and other factors? I forget). Maybe on the biggest sites only. The information should be on Meta Stack Exchange.
 
10:12 PM
only joking - hi @Emrakul!
 
user61230
@rand :[
 
@randal'thor Even if you're joking, please don't. This “us against them” atmosphere is toxic. Discuss ideas, not personalities.
 
Sorry!
I was half-serious about riddling.SE. Do you think this would solve some of the problems with puzzling.SE?
 
10:38 PM
@Gilles - Here is info on question rate limits and all possible other limits too.
 

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